A-Rod’s suspension reduced to 162 games by arbitrator

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(KTVI)- New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez will miss the entire 2014 season as an independent arbitrator has upheld most of the suspension Major League Baseball assessed him in August. Fredric Horowitz, who heard Rodriguez’s appeal, notified both Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association Saturday that Rodriguez will be suspended for a period that includes 162 regular season games and the entire 2014 Postseason.

Rodriguez, 38, had originally been given a 211-game suspension after MLB said he had used numerous performance-enhancing drugs and then tried to obstruct MLB’s investigation of him.

More: MLB suspends Alex Rodriguez for 211 games

Major League Baseball issued the following statement regarding the decision:

“For more than five decades, the arbitration process under the Basic Agreement has been a fair and effective mechanism for resolving disputes and protecting player rights.  While we believe the original 211-game suspension was appropriate, we respect the decision rendered by the Panel and will focus on our continuing efforts on eliminating performance-enhancing substances from our game.”

Rodriguez also released a statement:

“The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. This is one man’s decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable. This injustice is MLB’s first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review.”

The Major League Baseball Players Association, which had participated in his defense, issued a statement in the wake of the ruling.

“The MLBPAA strongly disagrees with the award issued today in the grievance of Alex Rodriguez, even despite the Arbitration Panel’s decision to reduce the duration of Mr. Rodriguez’s unprecedented 211-game suspension,” it read. “We recognize that final and binding decision has been reached, however, and we respect the collectively-bargained arbitration process which led to the decision. In accordance with the confidentiality provisions of the (Joint Drug Agreement), the Association will make no further comment regarding the decision.”

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